Category Archives: Home Care

Cleveland Clinic Shares 9 Places Germs Are Lurking In the Kitchen

Did you know that about 9% of foodborne illness outbreaks occur in the home and it’s almost impossible to tell where the bacteria may live with the naked eye?

Research has identified the top kitchen items that are commonly cross-contaminated during the preparation of a meal (yuck!). Infectious disease specialist Susan Rehm, MD, outlines these top kitchen contaminators and how to make sure you don’t get sick.

1. Cloth towel

Like sponges, cloth towels were the most frequently contaminated article in the kitchen. How many times have you used a towel to wipe off the counter after cooking, washed your hands, and then wiped your clean hands with that same towel? It happens more often than you think.

“One of the best ways to prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen is to use paper towels,” says Dr. Rehm.

Research also shows that salmonella grows on cloths stored overnight, even after they were washed and rinsed in the sink. To minimize the risk of contamination, either strictly use paper towels or use a new, clean cloth for each surface in your kitchen. Be sure to wash your towels with bleach or other disinfectants before using them again.

2. Smartphone or tablet

Just like if you take your phone to the bathroom with you, anything you touch in the kitchen following contact with raw meat can become contaminated. That includes your smartphone or tablet you use to follow a recipe or answer a call.

“Either don’t use it or clean it as frequently as you would wash your hands,” she says.

Consider covering your device with clear plastic or printing out the recipe so you don’t have to touch your device. If you don’t want to print it out, make sure to disinfect your phone afterward.

To disinfect your phone, Dr. Rehm recommends following these steps:

  1. Take the case off and turn your phone or tablet off completely.
  2. Mist a gentle cleaning cloth with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Gently wipe down each corner of your phone or tablet.
  4. Wipe down your case and any phone accessories with the same solution.
  5. Let dry completely before turning your device on.

Never use harsh chemicals on your devices. Double-check with your phone brand on the proper way to disinfect their products so you don’t end up ruining your expensive tech.

3. Sink faucet, refrigerator, oven handle, trash container

When was the last time you disinfected your sink faucet, refrigerator, oven, or trash can?

“During food prep, be aware that there are bacteria in food, and touching it can spread it to other surfaces and potentially cause illness,” says Dr. Rehm. “Common bacteria found in the kitchen include E.coli, salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, norovirus, and hepatitis A.”

E.coli can survive for hours on a surface, salmonella can survive for about four hours and hepatitis A can survive for months. If those numbers make you nervous, lessen your chances of getting those germs by disinfecting each surface that bacteria could have come into contact with. And yes, that means wiping down or spraying each surface in your kitchen that you worked at just to be sure.

4. Cooking utensils

With so many different kitchen utensils, it’s important to be aware of how you use them, too.

“When you use tongs or a fork to put raw poultry on the grill, you should wash it immediately afterward if you plan to use the same tools to serve the meal,” says Dr. Rehm.

Sanitize your utensils by hand-washing in hot, soapy water and sanitizing solution. Make sure to air-dry them completely before putting them away into the cupboard.

5. Hands

Believe it or not, it’s common for people to not wash their hands with the frequency or quality needed to reduce bacterial contamination.

“When preparing food, it’s wise to wash hands beforehand, frequently throughout, and afterward,” says Dr. Rehm.

Each time you handle raw meat, wash your hands. Lather your hands with soap (don’t forget your nails, between your fingers and the back of your hands!) Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, and then use a paper towel to dry them and turn off the water faucets and don’t reuse it. Throw the used paper towel away immediately after use.

6. Fruit and vegetables

Bacteria can be found on your favorite fruit and veggies.

If you’re not careful, that bacteria could cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cleaning up is less effective than not contaminating it in the first place, so make it a habit to keep surfaces as clean as possible the first time to avoid cross-contamination. ​

Important Functions of Protein and the Role It Plays In Your Body

Maintaining Nutrition and Hydration are two of the most important factors during and recovering from a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)

Malnutrition can develop quickly and the body needs and 20% of the human body is made up of protein.

Because your body doesn’t store protein, it’s important to get enough from your daily diet.

You can get protein from many food sources, including plants and animals.

* Always discuss dietary needs with your healthcare provider and a consult with a Registered Dietitian can be helpful. 

There is animal protein:  Animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy, are similar to the protein found in your body.  And there are plant protein sources, such as beans, soy, lentils and nuts.

Enzymes are proteins that aid the thousands of biochemical reactions that take place within and outside of your cells (7).

The structure of enzymes allows them to combine with other molecules inside the cell called substrates, which catalyze reactions that are essential to your metabolism (8).   Some proteins are hormones, which are chemical messengers that aid communication between your cells, tissues and organs.   Some Proteins provide structure –   keratin, collagen and elastin, which help form the connective framework of certain structures in your body (13).

Keratin is a structural protein that is found in your skin, hair and nails. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and is the structural protein of your bones, tendons, ligaments and skin (14). Elastin is several hundred times more flexible than collagen. Its high elasticity allows many tissues in your body to return to their original shape after stretching or contracting, such as your uterus, lungs and arteries (15).

Enzymes may also function outside the cell, such as digestive enzymes like lactase and sucrase, which help digest sugar. Enzymes require other molecules, such as vitamins or minerals, for a reaction to take place.

Bodily functions that depend on enzymes include (9):

  • Digestion
  • Energy production
  • Blood clotting
  • Muscle contraction

Proteins also maintain proper pH.

Proteins regulate the body ability  to maintain fluid balance.

Albumin and globulin are proteins in your blood that help maintain your body’s fluid balance by attracting and retaining water (21, 22).

If you don’t eat enough protein, your levels of albumin and globulin eventually decrease. Proteins can no longer keep blood in your blood vessels, and the fluid is forced into the spaces between your cells.  As the fluid continues to build up in the spaces between your cells, swelling or edema occurs, particularly in the stomach region (23).  This is a form of severe protein malnutrition called kwashiorkor that develops when a person is consuming enough calories but does not consume enough protein (24).

Proteins help form immunoglobulins, or antibodies, to fight infection

Proteins–  carry substances throughout your bloodstream — into cells, out of cells or within cells. The substances transported by these proteins include nutrients like vitamins or minerals, blood sugar, cholesterol and oxygen (30, 31, 32).

Protein contains four calories per gram, the same amount of energy that carbs provide. Fats supply the most energy, at nine calories per gram. The last thing your body wants to use for energy is protein since this valuable nutrient is widely used throughout your body.Carbs and fats are much better suited for providing energy, as your body maintains reserves for use as fuel.

The collective information above confirms protein is one of the most important nutrients for your health.

 

A simple and easy animal source of protein:

Baked Chicken recipe that can be served with a baked potato or mashed potato and soft cooked vegetables (Example: carrots, green beans).

Ingredients

    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed

Directions

    1. Preheat convection oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    2. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt to taste *do not use salt if a salt-free diet is prescribed.
    3. Place chicken in a broiler pan.and place broiler pan into the preheated oven.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
    5. Flip chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. This should take about 15 minutes more.
    6. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
    7. Remove chicken from pan.
    8. Place  Chicken on plates and serve with a baked or mashed potato and soft cooked vegetables of choice (example: carrots, green beans).

 

 

Protein  Source with References:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/functions-of-protein#section10

Important Functions of Protein and the Role It Plays In Your Body

Maintaining Nutrition and Hydration are two of the most important factors during and recovering from a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)

Malnutrition can develop quickly and the body needs and 20% of the human body is made up of protein.

Because your body doesn’t store protein, it’s important to get enough from your daily diet.

You can get protein from many food sources, including plants and animals.

* Always discuss dietary needs with your healthcare provider and a consult with a Registered Dietitian can be helpful. 

There is animal protein:  Animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy, are similar to the protein found in your body.  And there are plant protein sources, such as beans, soy, lentils and nuts.

Enzymes are proteins that aid the thousands of biochemical reactions that take place within and outside of your cells (7).

The structure of enzymes allows them to combine with other molecules inside the cell called substrates, which catalyze reactions that are essential to your metabolism (8).   Some proteins are hormones, which are chemical messengers that aid communication between your cells, tissues and organs.   Some Proteins provide structure –   keratin, collagen and elastin, which help form the connective framework of certain structures in your body (13).

Keratin is a structural protein that is found in your skin, hair and nails. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and is the structural protein of your bones, tendons, ligaments and skin (14). Elastin is several hundred times more flexible than collagen. Its high elasticity allows many tissues in your body to return to their original shape after stretching or contracting, such as your uterus, lungs and arteries (15).

Enzymes may also function outside the cell, such as digestive enzymes like lactase and sucrase, which help digest sugar. Enzymes require other molecules, such as vitamins or minerals, for a reaction to take place.

Bodily functions that depend on enzymes include (9):

  • Digestion
  • Energy production
  • Blood clotting
  • Muscle contraction

Proteins also maintain proper pH.

Proteins regulate the body ability  to maintain fluid balance.

Albumin and globulin are proteins in your blood that help maintain your body’s fluid balance by attracting and retaining water (21, 22).

If you don’t eat enough protein, your levels of albumin and globulin eventually decrease. Proteins can no longer keep blood in your blood vessels, and the fluid is forced into the spaces between your cells.  As the fluid continues to build up in the spaces between your cells, swelling or edema occurs, particularly in the stomach region (23).  This is a form of severe protein malnutrition called kwashiorkor that develops when a person is consuming enough calories but does not consume enough protein (24).

Proteins help form immunoglobulins, or antibodies, to fight infection

Proteins–  carry substances throughout your bloodstream — into cells, out of cells or within cells. The substances transported by these proteins include nutrients like vitamins or minerals, blood sugar, cholesterol and oxygen (30, 31, 32).

Protein contains four calories per gram, the same amount of energy that carbs provide. Fats supply the most energy, at nine calories per gram. The last thing your body wants to use for energy is protein since this valuable nutrient is widely used throughout your body.Carbs and fats are much better suited for providing energy, as your body maintains reserves for use as fuel.

The collective information above confirms protein is one of the most important nutrients for your health.

 

A simple and easy animal source of protein:

Baked Chicken recipe that can be served with a baked potato or mashed potato and soft cooked vegetables (Example: carrots, green beans).

Ingredients

    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed

Directions

    1. Preheat convection oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    2. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt to taste *do not use salt if a salt-free diet is prescribed.
    3. Place chicken in a broiler pan.and place broiler pan into the preheated oven.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
    5. Flip chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. This should take about 15 minutes more.
    6. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
    7. Remove chicken from pan.
    8. Place  Chicken on plates and serve with a baked or mashed potato and soft cooked vegetables of choice (example: carrots, green beans).

 

 

Protein  Source with References:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/functions-of-protein#section10

C. diff. Spores and More, Join Us and Celebrate

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with our 81,453 listeners – so far –  in Season III.

We thank our listeners joining us every

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by sharing the most up-to-date information with us raises awareness in so

many important areas of healthcare.

 

Season III concludes on October 31, 2017

and we will be gearing up for

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place on November 9th and 10th at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.

For conference information please click on the link below.

https://cdifffoundation.org/2017cdiffconference/about-nov-2017-annual-conference/

 

Join us in Season IV when we return on January 9th, 2018

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Thank you again for listening and we wish you and your families improved health,

continued healing, and the best day — which you all deserve!

 

Changing the Bed Linens In Sickness and In Health

According to Microbiologist, Phillip Tierno of New York University

our bed linens can “quickly blossom into a botanical park of bacteria and fungus.”

If left for too long, the microscopic life within the wrinkles and folds of our bed sheets can even make us sick,

> We can recall – years ago – the bed linens in any acute care facility (e.g., hospital) the bed linens were changed daily.   Food for thought <<

 

Humans naturally produce roughly 26 gallons of sweat in bed every year. When it’s hot and humid outside, this moisture becomes what scientists call an “ideal fungal culture medium.”

In a recent study that assessed the level of fungal contamination in bedding, researchers found that a test sample of feather and synthetic pillows that were 1 1/2 to 20 years old contained as many as 16 species of fungus each.

And it’s not just your own microbial life you’re sleeping with. In addition to the fungi and bacteria that come from your sweat, sputum, skin cells, and vaginal and anal excretions, you also share your bed with foreign microbes.

These include animal dander, pollen, soil, lint, dust mite debris and feces, and finishing agents from whatever your sheets are made from, to name a few.

Tierno says all that gunk becomes “significant” in as little as a week. And unclean bedding still exposes you to materials that can trigger the sniffing and sneezing, since the microbes are so close to your mouth and nose that you’re almost forced to breathe them in.

“Even if you don’t have allergies per se, you can have an allergic response,” Tierno said.

Another reason your sheets get dirty quickly has little to do with your behavior or sweat patterns — the issue is simply gravity.

“Just like Rome over time was buried with the debris that falls from gravity, gravity is what brings all that material into your mattress,” Tierno said.

One to two weeks of this buildup is enough to leave anyone with a scratchy throat — especially those with significant allergies or asthma. (One in six Americans has allergies.)

“If you touched dog poo in the street, you’d want to wash your hands,” Tierno said.

“Consider that analogous to your bedding. If you saw what was there — but of course you don’t see it — after a while you have to say to yourself, ‘Do I want to sleep in that?’

So what does Dr. Tierno suggest?

To stem the invisible tide, he said, sheets should be washed once a week — >> More Often when bed linens are visibly soiled and an infection is being treated <<


Proper ways to handle soiled linens:

There is now a common understanding that linens, once in use, are usually contaminated and could be harboring microorganisms such as MRSA and VRE.

Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions that healthcare professionals should “handle contaminated textiles and fabrics with a minimum agitation to avoid contamination of air, surfaces, and persons.” Even one of the leading nursing textbooks, Fundamentals of Nursing, states, “Soiled linen is never shaken in the air because shaking can disseminate secretions and excretions and the micro organisms they contain.” This text also states, “…linens that have been soiled with excretions and secretions harbor microorganisms … can be transmitted to others.”

According to Fundamentals of Nursing, when handling linens in any acute care and healthcare facility:

1. You should always wash your hands after handling a patient’s bed linens.

2. You should hold soiled linen away from your uniform.

3. Soiled linen is never shaken in the air because shaking can disseminate the micro-organisms they contain.

4. Linen from one patient’s bed is never (even momentarily) placed on another patient’s bed.

5. Soiled linens should be placed directly into a portable linen hamper or tucked into a pillowcase and the end of the bed before it is gathered up for disposal in the linen hamper or linen chute.

 

To read this article in its entirety – please click on the following link:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-often-to-wash-bed-sheets-2017-6